Barry Gallace was on the ground floor when cart containment and pushout theft prevention technology hit a major breakthrough. In 1998, Kathleen Smith, Safeway’s VP of Asset Protection—otherwise known as the Mayor of Loss Prevention—called up Gallace, who at the time worked for Carrtronics, and mandated an in-store radio frequency solution that prevents thefts from using shopping charts to steal.” Gatekeeper who at the time had a technology leg up got the same call due to dual sourcing.
“Carttronics went from using an electromagnetic field outside of the store to a radio frequency detection inside the store in 90 days,’ says Gallace. “We installed in Stockton, CA, ran the tests, and it worked!” The Mayor gave Carttronics 25 Safeway stores and Gatekeeper 25 stores to install the technology. In the end, the ROI data was there and pushout theft prevention took at great leap forward.
With Gatekeeper Systems, Inc. acquiring Cartronics in the spring of 2017 to offer a comprehensive suite of cart management and loss prevention technology and services to retailers around the globe, Gallace sees the merger as the two companies coming full circle. “We were our biggest competitors, but now we have the opportunity to harmonize the best of both technology solutions to deliver an industry leading, dynamic platform that is easier to use and gives retailers more robust analytics and generates further cost savings.”
The #1 focus of retailers in push out prevention is to retain product and profit. This used to be done through identifying and obtaining the perpetrator and utilizing prosecution as a deterrent. Problems came with the high risk for violent interactions, the chances of accidently accusing a good customer, the costs of prosecution, and the decriminalization of shoplifting. This created a need to achieve loss prevention goals by refining technologies that honed in on thieves, were invisible to good customers, and never let the merchandise leave the store.
Gallace, now the Director of Loss Prevention and Analytics Solutions at Gatekeeper Systems, Inc., is excited to carry out this Gatekeeper Systems vision. “Push out prevention systems is the only technology that stops theft in the process: Period.” says Gallace. “I want to help customers maintain merchandise, avoid confrontations, and protect the paying customer’s shopping experience. It’s the right thing to do.”
Gallace is proud that the rest of the Carrtonics core leadership—Robert Hartling and Stephen Forde—is also transitioning to Gatekeeper Systems, Inc. Past Cartronics customers agree.
“Barry has always been extremely responsive to all of our needs,” says Mike Bowers Sr. Director of Loss Prevention at Northgate Markets. “Few people stand behind their products and services like he does.” Marcus Young of United Supermarket says, “Barry continuously performs above and beyond the call of duty.”
“I don’t have a college degree, but creative, abstract thinking is how I do business,” says Gallace who prides himself in being able to absorb a lot of data, assess the landscape and see the long road ahead. “You have to be creative to maintain a competitive advantage and know which data point is the one you need to focus in on.”
John French a venture capitalist and founder of Carrtonics LLC agrees, “Gallace has the ability to see what the market needs often before it is even available.” Creativity also plays a role in how Gallace delivers customer service: pushing technology forward, developing strategic plans, finding champions to build trust has to come from out-of-the-box thinking. And Gallace’s customers take notice.
Gallace’s sister Maureen might be the famously “creative” one in the family, with a current painting exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art and a faculty position at NYU Steinhardt, but this loss prevention industry expert is not ready to give her credit for having all the right-brain familial genes just yet.